Convergent Photography

Convergent Photography Information





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Paper presented at:

1st Global Fashion Conference, Mansfield College, Oxford, 25th-27th September 2009

Images in Time Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, 26th-28th November 2009

Click here to view the full paper in PDF format


From Cameron to Convergence:

photo-narrative with fantasy and role-play



Although literature is the primary medium of fantasy genre, more recently mediums such as theatre, performance, fine art, film and photography have developed new approaches to visualising fantasy. Fashion as a signifier of fantasy in a photographic context is the subject of this paper.

Historically, fantasy has found expression through fairytale, mythology and allegory. Costume and masquerade have played a significant part in helping us to identify with icons, role models and characters in these genres, and we make subsequent associations with these signifiers to form the basis of our personal fantasy role-play.

The photographers I would like to discuss construct photographic fantasy narratives using fashion as the character signifier. Their work is themed around the concepts of the fantastic. Fashion is an integral part of their work in that it affords an affinity and a familiarity, albeit fantastical, in an otherwise hyper-reality. Invariably it is the costume and dress within the image with which the viewer makes the first instinctive, intuitive and perceptive associations. Combining role-play with the visual nature of photography creates fantasy imagery. Therefore, I am going to discuss photography from this dual perspective with the focus being on fantasy costume.